Freddie Mac: Mortgage Loan Rates Continue to Fall

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In its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, home lending giant Freddie Mac reported a record-low lending rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage of 2.56%. The firm also noted drops in three other mortgage lending products.

The all-time low rate on the 15-year loan broke the record low rate of 2.61% set just one week earlier. The interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to an average of 3.35%, which is barely higher than the all-time low rate for this loan of 3.31% posted in November 2012. One year ago the 15-year rate stood at 3.07% and the 30-year rate stood at 3.84%.

The interest rate on a five-year Treasury adjustable-rate mortgage loan fell from an average of 2.58% to 2.56%, and it is down from 2.85% in the same week one year ago. The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage loan interest rate fell from 2.62% to 2.56% and is down from 2.70% one year ago.

Freddie Mac's chief economist noted:

Mortgage rates eased somewhat following the release of the advance estimate of real GDP growth for the first quarter of the year, which rose 2.5 percent but fell short of the market consensus forecast. The latest GDP report confirmed that the housing sector has become an important contributor to the economic recovery. Residential fixed investment added to overall economic growth over the past eight consecutive quarters and contributed more than 0.3 percentage points in growth over the first three months of this year. Moreover, near record low mortgage rates should further drive the housing market recovery over the near term.

According to yesterday's data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, refinancings still make up about 75% of all new mortgage loan applications. This is down from around 81% as recently as last September. It needs to fall further.

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